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Family surprised by presents from non-Muslim neighbour to celebrate Eid

Shafaq Hassan from Streatham, south London, said her neighbour brought a prayer mat for her son in celebration of Eid.

A woman has said a gift from her neighbour to celebrate Eid has restored her “faith in humanity”.

Shafaq Hassan, from Streatham, south London, said her neighbour treated her and son Ayaan, 14, to dates and a prayer mat in celebration of Eid, which this year began on Wednesday evening and will end on Thursday evening.

Posting a photo of the gifts to Twitter, Ms Hassan said: “Our non-Muslim neighbour (our biryani pal!) totally surprised us with Algerian dates and a prayer mat for my 14-year-old, who fasted the whole month.”

Ms Hassan, 40, told the PA news agency: “He’s been our neighbour for over 20 years, but completely surprised us with the Eid gifts.

“I didn’t realise he noted Ayaan was fasting the whole month… we were all surprised at his gesture and my son felt really special.

“They’re friendly neighbours, they’re fans of my mum’s biryani so we always send over a box.”

Ms Hassan said the family is celebrating with a meal and a special Eid cake, as they are unable to have a big party due to Covid-19 restrictions.

She told PA: “The whole family fasted but missed a few days, Ayaan fasted the whole month… he was determined to fast the whole month which is quite impressive, if I may say so myself.

“Due to Covid we can’t have big family party, obviously, we’re having a special meal with family to celebrate my son’s achievement.”

Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr in a subdued mood for a second year as Covid-19 forced mosque closures and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan shared a photo of Trafalgar Square lit in purple lights to celebrate the occasion.

Ms Hassan told PA: “It’s hard we are not able to meet extended family or go to the mosque to pray. It’s isolating not being able to attend the mosque but we’re blessed we’re together as a family.

“Our neighbour’s gesture helps put faith in humanity. We’re a diverse community and its heart-warming that our neighbour was so thoughtful and encouraging of Ayaan and his religious beliefs.

“Eid is about sharing, being charitable and is a blessing.”

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